Sigh…yesterday’s NY Jets 26-29 OTÂ loss to the New England Patriots was tough to digest. Actually, it still is. Mark Sanchez and co. had so many opportunities to pull out the win, but just couldn’t get it done. And as everyone knows, when you’re playing against Tom Brady, you have to play for the win. Not for the tie, or not to lose the game, but to win it. Because if given the opportunity, Brady will leave you with nothing but huge regrets. And that’s exactly what happened last evening.
– From the first drive, the Jets offense played with purpose and effort. Tony Sporano didn’t miss the memo with regard to the Pats weak pass defense. Straight out the gate, Sanchez tested the Pats’ secondary and was rewarded for it. He led the team to an impressive scoring drive on the Jets’ first possession. And save for a terrible INT and a fumble which resulted in a safety, Sanchez played well the majority of regulation. Overall, he was 28/41 and threw for a season-high 328 yards.
– The diminutive Jeremy Kerley, who stands tall at 5’9, has emerged as Sanchez’s most trusted receiver, since Santonio Holmes went down. Kerley put in incredible work yesterday, catching seven passes for 120 yards. Now, if he would only stop fielding punt returns at the 5 yard line and instead, let the ball bounce into the endzone for a touchback, he’d really be alright with me.
– Despite playing without Darelle Revis, it seems the Jets defense is finally turning things around. Yesterday they held a top five offense to just 17 points, 259 passing yards, and 131 rushing yards. Although Rob Gronkowski scored two touchdowns, the Jets secondary neutralized Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker, not making them much of a threat. If only the Jets defense hadn’t mailed it in on the Pats game-tying drive to end the fourth quarter, the Jets would’ve left Foxboro with the win.
– Although it was a wasted effort, I can’t deny how clutch Nick Folk has been all season. Because the Jets have struggled to locate the endzone, we’ve relied on the 11-11 kicker to keep us in the game, and he’s nailed it every time. Due to kicking 54 and 21 yard field goals earlier in the game, and a 43 yarder minutes before, I incorrectly assumed leg fatigue would result in Folk missing the 43 yard field goal attempt which resulted in the Jets briefly gaining the lead. In that instance, it felt good to be wrong. It’s just too bad his teammates let him down.
– Only Sanchez can be defined as good and bad, at the same damn time. But that’s exactly what he was, yesterday. We can rely on him to make at least two momentum killing plays per game. After watching many wild finishes at the end of yesterday’s games, I couldn’t help but wish I had a quarterback that could execute a come from behind win in two minutes or less. Instead, Jets fans are saddled with a guy who fumbled a snap and had to kick the ball out the endzone to avoid a touchdown recovery by the Pats. And also the quarterback, who on the last play of the game in OT, thought trying to throw it away was the right call.Â Instead of taking the sack and giving his team one more chance to make a miracle happen, the Patriots recovered the ball. Game over. If the Jets intend on contending, we have to get a quarterback who is equipped to make better decisions when the game is on the line. Period.
– And speaking of better decision making, why did Tony Sporano call a slant to Chaz Schilens on 3rd and 2? Aside from a 23 yard pass play to Dustin Keller, the Jets had success grounding and pounding the ball to Shonn Greene most of that drive. Yet, when we’re in the redzone, and it’s 3rd and 2, the Jets decide to pass? And to Schilens?! With the way our offensive line has been blocking lately, there’s no question Tebow or Greene, would’ve gained the first down. After six games, one would think Sporano and the rest of the coaching staff would improve with regard to when to call Tebow’s number, but they haven’t. Just another example of how the Jets left points on the field…a huge no no against the Pats.
– I’m not going to kill Stephen Hill for dropping that pass, because aside from that, he played well. HOWEVER, if Hill would’ve held onto the ball, the Jets would’ve been in a position to win that game. I know that missed opportunity will haunt him until at least next week, let’s just hope he uses it as motivation to improve and make clutch catches in the near future. He has the potential to be a star on this team, he can’t allow his butterfingers to hold him back.
– The amount of ifs and woulds mentioned in this post is sickening, but rather appropriate because it highlights how many missed opportunities the Jets really had. This loss will definitely rear its ugly head down the road.
Next week, the Dolphins head to Metlife Stadium to seek redemption. It’s also the final game before the Jets’ Week 9 bye. Based on the Jets improvements over the past couple of weeks, I’m optimistic they’ll go into the break with a .500 record.
P.S. My apologies for abandoning ASE and TMA the past couple of weeks. I needed to step away a bit to work on some things. Appreciate the continued support!